It's nothing new for celebrities to be seen attending NBA games. The league has long attracted the rich and famous, from Jack Nicholson and Billy Crystal in LA, to Mark Wahlberg in Boston, to Spike Lee and Jerry Seinfeld in New York. Recently, however, celebrities are becoming more and more involved with the teams, with some taking official, and unofficial, positions within the franchise.
Spike Lee was arguably the first celebrity to take on a role within the organization he was rooting for, namely the New York Knicks. While Lee has never been an official member of the staff, he has been involved in recruiting pitches to free agents and has provided owner James Dolan with advice on acquiring players. He has also been involved in team marketing and advertising.
The trend really took off when Sean Carter, better known as Jay-Z, became an investor in both the Brooklyn Nets, as well as their new arena in Carter's home neighborhood of Prospect Heights, the Barclays Center. Carter was a pivotal figure in the team's move and subsequent re-brand, and was a staple at the Nets' home games during their first season in Brooklyn. Carter has since sold his shares in the team to focus on his sports agency, RocNation, but he does still hold his shares in the arena.
The Nets' Atlantic Divison rivals the Toronto Raptors did not want to be outdone, so they went out and got their own local rapper to represent them. That man was Aubrey Graham, known to the world by his middle name, Drake. Drake decided to finally put away his front-running, bandwagoning antics, quit partying with LeBron, and focus on his home team, mostly because the Raptors offered him an undefined amount of money and the made-up title of "Global Ambassador."
So we at Sonics Rising couldn't help but wonder, if the Sonics 2.0 were to employ their own "Global Ambassador," who would it be? While it wouldn't need to be a rapper, the most obvious choice is one. Ben Haggerty, aka Macklemore, is a huge Seattle sports fan. He wrote a song about the Mariners called "My Oh My," and is a mainstay at Seahawks games. His song "Can't Hold Us" is the team's official touchdown anthem.
There is also the rap duo of Blue Scholars, MC Geologic (Geo, for short) and DJ Sabzi. The group has a song called "Slick Watts," which is all about both Seattle and the Sonics. The video for the song features Slick Watts (obviously), his son Donald, a former Washington Huskies guard, Seattle super fan Big Lo, and our own Brian Robinson. They wanted to feature the 1979 NBA Championship Trophy, but Clay Bennett would not allow it.
Other options could include actor Rainn Wilson, best known for his portrayal of Dwight K. Schrute on the show The Office, who is quite possibly the biggest celebrity Seahawks fan. Joel McHale, aka Jeff Winger from Community, is a big Seattle sports fan and has been known to sign-off of his talk show The Soup with a "Go Hawks." Ryan Stiles from Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a Seattle native and is friends with Seattle Sounders owner Drew Carey. Guitarist Stone Gossard and the rest of Pearl Jam are very strong proponents of the Sonics return to Seattle, and the group has a song called "Supersonic" that they have been known to change the lyrics to in order to make it about the team's absence.
EDIT: I almost forgot about the Presidents of the United States of America! Seattle natives who changed the lyrics to their song "Supermodel" to "Supersonics" during the team's Finals run in 1996. They also performed at Chris Hansen's Sonics Arena rally.
So vote in the poll below on who you think would make the best "Global Ambassador" for the Seattle SuperSonics!